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More New Years Resolutions - 2011 Here we come!

1001 Books to read before you die

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Dec 23, 2010, 2:45am Top

I thought it was interesting to see everyone's planned 2010 reading, so I figured why not for 2011. I know some people did really well this year, but there were a number of us who... well... didn't quite manage to get through the books we wanted to conquer.

So here goes for 2011 - anyone who ead the 2010 thread will note that several remain the same though...

Grapes of Wrath
Tale of a Tub
Midnight's Children
Jude the Obscure
The Moonstone
A Prayer for Owen Meany

Fingers crossed.

Dec 23, 2010, 4:38am Top

Dec 23, 2010, 6:37am Top

I'm aiming to read the remaining 732 books on the list.

Dec 23, 2010, 7:53am Top

I could probably just quote my last year's resolution. Some Dickens and Dostoevsky should be read. Probably also that Midnight's Children.

Edited: Dec 23, 2010, 1:22pm Top

Hmm, I'm not going to be to super focused on this challenge but I expect I'll finish these:

Cancer Ward - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (currently reading)
The Story of O - Pauline Reage
Animal Farm - George Orwell
A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh

>2 Julia1605: Gargantua and Pantagruel is mentioned in Cancer Ward and I was meaning to look into it.

Dec 23, 2010, 3:36pm Top

I've organized my 11 in 11 challenge around the 1001 books, so I'm expecting to read quite a lot from it. Beloved is supposed to be quite challenging but I WILL conquer it.

Dec 23, 2010, 4:26pm Top

I have a few tomes that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf. I will be trying to conquer them in 2011.

Infinite Jest
A Dance to the Music in Time all 4 movements
Lord of the Rings

I also will be trying to finish the pre 1700s from the 2006 list, which shouldn't be a problem since I only have The Golden Ass and Oroonoko remaining.

Dec 23, 2010, 5:04pm Top

I want to read some Kafka, so I can say "Kafkaesque" as part of my vocabulary without feeling like such a fraud.

And try some unread (by me) authors... Iris Murdoch, Graham Greene

Also read more Dickens. He deserves my attention.

Finally I will crack 200 and make War and Peace the 200th book. Currently 191.

Dec 23, 2010, 10:04pm Top

I'm aiming to read the remaining 732 books on the list.

Ha ha ha! You made me laugh. Are you planning on dropping out of society and living in a cave?

Dec 23, 2010, 10:06pm Top

Beloved is supposed to be quite challenging but I WILL conquer it.

Compared to lots of others from the list, I didn't find that one difficult. You can do it! Really, it's not that scary.

Dec 23, 2010, 10:08pm Top

I plan to read a few of the longer ones . . .

Blind Assassin, Atwood
Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens
Dracula, Stoker
100 Years of Solitude, Marquez
the Corrections, Franzen

There are lots of potential reads too, but I'm not committing at this point.

Dec 24, 2010, 3:03am Top

#2 Good luck with Gargantua and Pantegruel - it's HUGE!

#6 Beloved is in my Top 20 out of the ones I have read (around 200) - I think it's brilliant. I hope you enjoy it.

#11 100 Years of Solitude isn't that long - it's also really really good, though I guess that viewpoint depends on whether you enjoy magic realism? I liked it anyway.

Dec 24, 2010, 3:51am Top

I know, though the edition (0393308065) of Gargantua and Pantagruel I have on my wishlist only has 640 pages instead of ~1100 pages in the Penguin edition that probably only means that the font is smaller.

Tirant lo Blanc, Don Quixote and Amadis of Gaul are not much better.

I keep wondering what those books would looked like if they would have been published in modern times. I see some seriously red pages coming back from the editor. ;-)

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2010, 12:07pm Top

#11 100 Years of Solitude isn't that long - it's also really really good, though I guess that viewpoint depends on whether you enjoy magic realism? I liked it anyway.

No, you're right. I was being lazy with my language. By "longer" I mean ones that I know will take me more time to read than the average. I loved the same author's Love in the Time of Cholera, but it took me awhile to get through it. I adore magical realism, so that isn't the issue--I just know I'm going to have to really focus on it, which means it will take longer. Hence it becomes a long book.

Edited: Dec 25, 2010, 10:27am Top

3 Ha ha ha ha *wipes drink from keyboard*... Good one!

11 Good luck with The Corrections. I seem to be in the minority in that I couldn't finish it - loathed it in fact. But The Blind Assassin is wonderful and didn't feel long at all.

Dec 25, 2010, 10:26am Top

12 I hope so too. Thanks!

Dec 26, 2010, 12:31pm Top

In 2011 I'm determined to track down a copy of Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges in the original Spanish and a copy in English. Then, I want to attempt to read it in Spanish, but when I get confused as to the meaning of a portion (due to my imperfect understanding of the language) or decide to give up altogether, I'll have the English version to fall back on. I'm betting that it's better in Spanish. Also, I'm hoping it will improve my Spanish skills.

After that, I really should get around to Never Let Me Go and Lord of the Rings. I'm told that not having read Lord of the Rings is practically a tragedy by some friends. If I still have free time after that, well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Dec 26, 2010, 6:36pm Top

Keeping it simple this year... my resolution is to read 17 books from the list... the recommended number to read each year so I can get through it before I die lol.

Dec 27, 2010, 8:12pm Top

I want to get through some more of the Russians. I am going to get through war and peace and i also have Master and Margarita and The Brothers karamazov on my TBR pile.

Dec 28, 2010, 10:50am Top

I recently sorted my wonderful excel spreadsheet (thanks arukiyomi!) My goal is to read 20 books by authors I haven't read that are still on all 3 editions. I'll probably skew to the older books so I can get them free on my kindle.

@6--I recently read Beloved. It wasn't too difficult. In comparison to other Oprah books it is probably more challenging, but if you've been reading 1001 books it shouldn't be too hard. As I was reading I thought how it is such a untouched topic. I really haven't read much about the lives of African Americans right after the end of the Civil War. It must have been such turmoil for them.

Edited: Dec 28, 2010, 2:40pm Top

#15 - I also loathed The Corrections!

#7 - I really liked A Dance to the Music of Time. The early movements are better than the later ones, but overall a great read.

My goals this year are to get my total past 250 (I think I'm at something like 239, so that is a pretty low bar). I'd like to manage to read War and Peace this year, and The Brothers Karamazov, and the Proust.

Maybe hitting 250 won't be so easy, after all.

Dec 29, 2010, 6:16am Top

Thought I did quite well with my resolution in 2010, managing 6 out of the ten I posted all the way back on 1st Jan; and eleven 1001 books in total, but I also need to pick up the pace if I want to complete the list Before I Die!

2011 titles:
1. The Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood
2. Go tell it on the mountain, James Baldwin
3. Farewell, my lovely, Raymond Chandler
4. The Body Artist, Don Delillo
5. Less than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis

6. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
7. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
8. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

Dec 29, 2010, 7:40am Top

I will try and focus on the big ones in 2011:
War and Peace
A Dream of Red Mansions
David Copperfield and maybe 1-2 more Dickens which are removed from the 2008 list
The Idiot

and some dreaded German ones:
Kindheitsmuster/ Patterns of Childhood
Deutschstunde/ The German Lesson
and whatever remains to be read of Goethe's novels...

Dec 29, 2010, 10:48am Top

#23 I'd say you were pushing it Deern, but seing how much you've got through (including some huge ones) in 2010, I have a lot of faith in you finishing your 2011 TBR.

#21 I just read your post and thought, 'Yeah, 250 would be a great target for 2011'... then re-thought and figured that might be somewhat optimistic! I'd need to read about 48 1,001... maybe I guess - well it's good to have goals anyway!

Dec 29, 2010, 1:55pm Top

My goals for 2011 are:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Emma by Jane Austen
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Not sure that I can finish the whole Proust this year, but maybe by the end of 2012! I am about to start the third volume of it, but I read it really slowly.

Dec 29, 2010, 3:35pm Top

#25 Count of Monte Cristo is great fun and didn't take as long as I thought.

I'm aiming for 40, and trying to get to a few of the beasts and a few of the older ones as thats a real blank spot - my literature degree was focused on fairly modern lit.
My big aims are:
War and Peace
Don Quixote
Les Miserables
The Thousand and One Nights

Dec 30, 2010, 4:49am Top

#25 I've read all those but the Proust - and you've got a really good list there. I loved the Count of Monte Cristo - and Age of Innocence started me on an Edith Wharton rampage last year!

Dec 30, 2010, 9:29am Top

#27> I don't know why I don't just read Age of Innocence already! I have heard nothing but good things about that book. My girls read it and loved it. I just don't ever pick it up! This must be the year!

Edited: Dec 31, 2010, 10:11am Top

I try to read at least 1 to 2 books from the list each month. I am starting with
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
Corelli's Mandolin by de Berneires
Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin
Casino Royale by Ian Flemming
Old Wives' Tale by Bennett
The Long Good-Bye by Chandler
The Go Between by Hartley
The Lost Steps by Carpentier
Watt, Malloy, Malone Dies and Unnamable by by Samuel Beckett
Junky by William S. Burroughs

Dec 30, 2010, 9:05pm Top

I don't have a lot of specific books in mind, but I do plan (from the "11 in 11" challenge) to read at least one book from each decade post 1790, focusing on the authors I haven't read before.

Among the major books I'm hoping to read in 2011 are:
A Dream of Red Mansions by Cao Xueqin
The Recognitions by William Gaddis
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Dec 31, 2010, 5:15am Top

#30 I read Gone with the wind several years ago when I was reading through the BBC top 100 (still stopped at about 90 - got side tracked by the 1,001 in 2006!) and I expected to really hate it. Not my cup of tea etc. Instead I loved it! So so good :)

Jan 2, 2011, 10:27am Top

In 2010, I read 7 books specifically from the list, and I hope to at least read that many more in 2011.

The only specific goals I have are to finally read The Corrections and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The former because it always gets bumped and the latter in anticipation of the Sherlock Holmes sequel.

And I would love to get through the second volume of In Search of Lost Time.

Jan 2, 2011, 6:22pm Top

This year I am determined to read the longer length books that I always seem to bypass for a shorter read. These include:

Buddenbrooks because it comes highly recommended by other LTers
Bleak House ditto
The Unconsoled because I love Ishiguro's work
and finally Portrait of a Lady not necessarily a chunky book but I place it in this category because of degree of reading difficulty.

Jan 3, 2011, 12:23pm Top

#33 -

I'm reading longer books this year too, although my definition of "longer" is more complicated than just number of pages. Either way, though, I'd clearly list Portrait of a Lady as a longer book. I read it a few years ago and loved it, and it actually flew by. Similarly for Bleak House, which I'd describe as a page-turner. Good luck with your long reads!

Jan 4, 2011, 12:46am Top

#23, Deern: Patterns of Childhood was one of the best books I've ever read. You'll manage that one.
The German Lesson is also one of my New Year's Resolutions. I'm planning to read it in July, when I have some good empty time. Maybe it should be our Group Read that month!

For the others resoluters, on long books--
Dance to the Music of Time was terrific and not at all a hard read, despite being so long. War and Peace was also pretty painless although I did read it while killing time in Siberia so the surroundings were very appropriate. The Recognitions I found absolutely, utterly impossible to read. Not many books defeat me, but that one did.
I'm going to work on Women in Love and see if I can handle another D.H. Lawrence. Haven't read any since high school and didn't like him much then.

Jan 4, 2011, 2:52am Top

No real goals, but I am hoping to knock off some of the chunksters. I've signed up for a challenge to read 5 "1001" titles this quarter, if I keep that up for the year, that'll be a nice 20 all up!

Jul 5, 2011, 11:24am Top

So - halfway through the year... how's everyone getting on?

Jul 5, 2011, 3:36pm Top

Mixed results in my case... Of the books listed in #23 I read War and Peace and David Copperfield, and am reading (and will be for the next few months) A Dream of Red Mansions as planned.

I didn't read Deutschstunde/German Lesson and Kindheitsmuster/Patterns of Childhood yet, and I am not sure I'll get to them this year. But at least I am done with the Goethes from the list.

Edited: Jul 5, 2011, 5:49pm Top

I managed to read 3 out of 4 of the books on my new year's list - Buddenbrooks, The Portrait of a Lady and Bleak House. I failed to finish The Unconsoled but the three I did read were really good.

Jul 5, 2011, 7:59pm Top

I am not doing all that well on my resolutions. I am still only about 1/4 of the way through The Count of Monte Cristo. I just started One Hundred Years of Solitude and am about 1/4 of the way through that. I have finished 5 of the 7 books of In Search of Lost Time, and I plan to start Emma this summer and then read The Age of Innocence this fall. So, I haven't finished any of my goals yet.

Jul 5, 2011, 9:53pm Top

It's only half-way through the year so there's lots of time!

I'm doing fine--I read The Blind Assassin and Nicholas Nickleby early in the year, and I'm currently on 100 Years of Solitude. That leaves only Dracula, which I have lined up for October, and The Corrections (not sure when I'll do that one).

Jul 6, 2011, 3:02am Top

No progress in the books I mentioned and generally my reading has come lately mainly outside 1001 list (even if some of them would be worthy, Shakespeare and Dante and St Benedict and stuff like that).

Jul 6, 2011, 3:35am Top

I'm glad to see some of us are hitting there goals... I'm in the not so much camp. I've finished Midnight's Children so that's one down. Apart from that I'm about 1/4 through Jude the Obscure. I do have all the rest lined up - not sure if any will get started though!

Edited: Jul 6, 2011, 4:20am Top


I'm relatively new to this group so I didn't post before, but I thought I'd join in with where I'm at in terms of 1001 progress this year. Things are slowed down by the fact that I have academic reading to do, and I don't want to only be able to read 1001 books, but I'm still getting through slowly but surely! My progress to date is:

The Great Gatsby
The Picture of Dorian Grey
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit
Life of Pi
Tipping the Velvet
The Story of O
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

I'm currently reading Oliver Twist (to someone else, so I'm going at a slower pace) and The Grapes of Wrath (not much to go on that). I'm also reading a non-1001 book, Riddley Walker, which I am really enjoying even though it's not my usual genre or style (if I have one, come to that).

Next I'll be reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as I have borrowed it from somebody. After that, I'm not entirely sure what I will read. I have a lot of books on my shelf that are perfectly applicable. I'm reading the non-1001 Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, which is absolutely huge and incredibly dense. So that's going to slow me up a bit. Likely suspects are Sons and Lovers, The Reader, The Hours and The God of Small Things, from the looks of my bookshelf. I couldn't say how many I am going to get through before the year is out though as I'll be starting an MRes (research Masters) at uni this autumn.

Jul 6, 2011, 12:09pm Top

Hiya - more than welcome! We just like to nag/congratulate each other occasionally on how we're doing on the ones we were DETERMINED to complete by the end of the year... as you can see, most of us don;t ahve a fabulous success rate! My problem is that I keep saying I'm going to finish ones I started and hated - makes it pretty much doomed form the get go.

FYI The God of Small Things is really excellent - one of my top 5 reads of last year. Hope you get to it and enjoy it.

Jul 6, 2011, 1:07pm Top

I too have self-defeating habit of saying for questions like this the big books which I have bene pushing forward and forward because defeating them have a feel of an accomplishment. I mean, I did read Catcher in the Rye and 100 Years of Solitude which also were accomplishments even if less monolithic nature (and outside 1001 list, Divine Comedy, which I have been putting off for a long time now...)
But I did pick up Great Expectations from the library just now, and have to look if there is something less 700-pagey than Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky on the list...

Jul 6, 2011, 1:12pm Top

With my list I am quarter of the way through Jude which isn't too bad (though I do know how it ends - ick) but I know how little I liked the first 100 pages of each of Grapes of Wrath and Pamela... eeeh. I think they'll be passing on to next year, darn it!

Good luck with the Dostoevsky - beyond me this year I think (baby has stolen brain!).

Jul 6, 2011, 1:32pm Top

I see above that my resolution was to read four of the larger works. I've finished two, The Idiot and Gone with the Wind. The other two are both in progress. I've read two of the five volumes of A Dream of Red Mansions. It is easy reading--just long. I'm also a bit more than half way through The Recognitions. Considering its length as well as its difficulty, I'd have to say that The Recognitions is the most challenging novel I've read that wasn't written by James Joyce.

In all, I've read 36 books from the 1001 lists so far this year.

Jul 6, 2011, 7:34pm Top

So far I've read four of the five books I planned on at the start of the year. I've also read seven others, for a total of 11. Not too bad, but I think I could do better.

Jul 6, 2011, 7:43pm Top

I'm 3/7 of the way through In Search of Lost Time, so that is coming along well. The other goals, not so well. I think I'm at about 246 total (based on the first list), so I'm in good shape to hit 250. Of course, now I want the epic #250 to be the Proust, so I need to get cracking on it.

Jul 7, 2011, 1:47am Top

Well done you guys - and Steven, 36 already is brilliant!

#50 I would love to hit 250 this year too, but I'm lagging - only on 221. I guess 29 might be do-able...

Jul 7, 2011, 1:59am Top

#50: Proust as #250 would be great. I read it before starting my own list, and now he is some number below 100 (and I needed much longer than a year for all 7). I am trying to make A Dream of Red Mansions my #200. That's why I slowed it down a bit now, not to finish it too early. I am now on 189.

#48: I saw you are reading "Red Mansions" too. My edition has only 4 volumes, and I am now through 1000 of app. 2500 pages. I like challenges, so I'll list The Recognistions for 2012. Maybe the Kindle version will be available then.

Jul 7, 2011, 6:40am Top

I've been reading almost exclusively from the 1001 this year and managed to read 21, including Beloved (see message #6).

Jul 7, 2011, 7:02am Top

I'm telling myself that resolutions were made to be broken... ;)

Jul 7, 2011, 10:40am Top

#52 2,500 pages? *swoon* THAT can wait till I retire - which at the rate it's being pushed back will be when I'm about 100!

#53 Did you enjoy Beloved? I read it years ago on a 'Trauma and Literature' course at uni (weird unit I know) and loved it then.

#54 Hell yes Wookie - there's not a chance I'm reading Pamela this year!

Jul 8, 2011, 12:37pm Top

I was feeling pretty glum about only finishing one book from my resolution that I posted in #7 (and it wasn't even one of the tomes), but then for kicks I counted up how many 1001 books I have read so far this year and it was a whopping 44. I guess I am just easily drawn away from my TBR pile.

Well, like someone mentioned we are only half way through the year so maybe I can get another book finished from my earlier resolution.

Edited: Jul 8, 2011, 2:19pm Top

Wasn't around when the original question was posited, but I think I'm good so far this year, with The Siege of Krishnapur, The Singapore Grip, (but Troubles isn't on the list? For shame!) We, Women in Love, Dr. Zhivago, The Portrait of a Lady, Ragtime, Brideshead Revisited, and The War at the End of the World among my new reads, and rereads of Catch-22 and Persuasion.

As far as the rest of the year goes, I'd like to read Dead Souls, The Tin Drum, and if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, A Suitable Boy.

Jul 8, 2011, 9:22pm Top

Oh my word. I read Pamela in university and I am not sure I will ever recover. Awful, awful book. I dread having to read Clarissa.

Jul 9, 2011, 4:00am Top

I was supposed to read Pamela... I think I only got 100 pages in before I threw it across the room. I will conquer it htough!

Jul 9, 2011, 4:48am Top

#59 BekkaJo, your description there had me laughing! I'm thinking I might put off reading Pamela for a good while yet!

Jul 10, 2011, 8:01pm Top

Chamberk, I'm sure that Troubles was on some version of the list. I read it as one of my 1001's this year. Not as good as Krischnapur, I thought, but enjoyable. I'm looking forward to doing Singapore one of these days.

I read Pamela in high school and for some reason enjoyed it greatly. I took it as a very silly comedy.

I am now slogging through Doctor Zhivago and finding it quite slow going and very, very long. Meanwhile I am listening to Don Quixote read aloud. The full version, in 18th-century translation, takes up 29 CDs of which I am now on #18. At first I found it annoyingly plotless but it's grown on me. I'll be quite sad to have it end, in another month or so...

I see that I had some different Big Long Books down as my resolutions this year. But after these two, I'm aiming for a few quicker reads.

Nov 11, 2011, 11:17am Top

Not much progress since my last post. But I decided not to force myself through books I am really dreading, and Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship used up all my patience for the German classics this year.

Edited: Nov 11, 2011, 11:35am Top

I set out to read:
Blind Assassin, Atwood
Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens
Dracula, Stoker
100 Years of Solitude, Marquez
the Corrections, Franzen

I've read them all, except the Franzen, which I may stick on the list for 2012.

Nov 11, 2011, 11:53am Top

OOoopsie. Nathalie just correctly informed me that I'd posted on the here comes 2010 thread. Silly me!

Though ironically (well not really ironically - more coincidentally) I am still on a 50% return - I've read Pamela, Tale of a Tub, Midnight's Children and Jude the Obscure off my list in post 1. The others roll till next year. Darn! I know, I know - whole month and a bit left. Maybe Cranford....

Oh and I just noted my post 55 - I so did read Pamela - go me!

Nov 11, 2011, 11:59am Top

I made it past 250 (goal #1), and through In Search of Lost Time (goal #4). The others - not so much. Next year!

Nov 11, 2011, 1:19pm Top

As God is my witness, I have read some Dickens. Dostojevski still remains as does Midnight's Children for I have been successfully finding other things to read.

Nov 13, 2011, 2:16am Top

I had six books on my list and read four. I read In Search of Lost Time, Emma, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Age of Innocence. I have started but not finished The Count of Monte Cristo, and I haven't even started The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I will add these two to my list for next year.

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